Wednesday January 29, 2020
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Do You Know? Sun’s Magnetic Field Is 10 Times Stronger Than Actually Believed

However, they are still responsible for the confinement of the solar plasma, which make up solar flares, as far as 20,000 km above the sun's surface.

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Sun
Sun's corona extends millions of kilometres above the surface, measuring 1,400,000 kilometres across -- 109 times larger than Earth -- and 150,000,000 km from Earth. Pixabay

The sun’s magnetic field is 10 times stronger than previously believed, finds a study which can potentially change understanding of the processes that happen in the sun’s immediate atmosphere.

The study found that the sun’s corona extends millions of kilometres above the surface, measuring 1,400,000 kilometres across — 109 times larger than Earth — and 150,000,000 km from Earth.

“Everything that happens in the sun’s outer atmosphere is dominated by the magnetic field, but we have very few measurements of its strength and spatial characteristics,” David Kuridze, research student at the Aberystwyth University.

storm
These solar flares can lead to storms which, if they hit Earth, form the northern lights – the Aurora Borealis. Pixabay

Using the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma, in the Canary Islands, Kuridze studied a particularly strong solar flare which erupted near the surface of the sun on 10 September 2017.

Solar flares appear as bright flashes and occur when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released.

“This is the first time we have been able to measure accurately the magnetic field of the coronal loops, the building blocks of the sun’s magnetic corona, which such a level of accuracy,” Kuridze said.

Earth
Earth and caries information about the magnetic field, and limitations in the instrumentation available. Pixabay

Until now, successful measurement of the magnetic field has been hindered by the weakness of the signal from the sun’s atmosphere that reaches Earth and caries information about the magnetic field, and limitations in the instrumentation available.

The magnetic fields reported in the study are similar to those of a typical fridge magnet and around 100 times weaker than the magnetic field encountered in an MRI scanner.

However, they are still responsible for the confinement of the solar plasma, which make up solar flares, as far as 20,000 km above the sun’s surface.

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These solar flares can lead to storms which, if they hit Earth, form the northern lights – the Aurora Borealis.

They can also disrupt communications satellites and GPS systems, the researchers noted.
(IANS)

 

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Space Rock Twice the Size of Big Ben to Skim Past Earth: NASA

"These asteroids have been well observed and their orbits are very well known," said NASA's Planetary Defence Officer Lindley Johnson

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University of Iowa, Radiation, Sun
FILE - Tourists take pictures of a NASA sign at the Kennedy Space Center visitors complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 14, 2010. VOA

NASA is closely monitoring an asteroid with an estimated diameter of about 755 feet — larger than the Golden Gate Bridge tower or more than twice the height of London’s Big Ben — that is currently heading towards Earth and is expected to skim past the planet on Monday.

Flying towards the planet at a speed of over 61,500 miles per hour, the Near-Earth Object (NEO) is big enough to destroy an entire city if collides with the Earth.

The approaching asteroid has been identified as “2020 AQ1”.

According to Express.co.uk, the asteroid will make its closest Earth approach on January 20 at around 2.54 am EST (1.24 pm India time).

The European Space Agency (ESA) has identified 21,655 NEO asteroids and 109 NEO comets.

NASA
Earth’s view from moon’s surface. Pixabay

The asteroid will hurtle past the planet on what astronomers have described as a “close approach” trajectory.

NASA’s trackers estimate the rock measures somewhere in the range of 328 feet -754 feet across – more than twice the height of London’s Big Ben.

Last September, a pair of asteroids flew past the Earth.

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“These asteroids have been well observed and their orbits are very well known,” said NASA’s Planetary Defence Officer Lindley Johnson.

“Both of these asteroids are passing at about 14 lunar distances from the Earth, or about 3.5 million miles away, but small asteroids pass by Earth this close all the time,” he added. (IANS)